I’m no economist. In fact, I don’t deserve to live in the same town as the guy who hands out the ‘economist’ name tags. With that in mind, I have two ill-informed reactions to today’s signing of the US $700
million billion (whoops, wishing thinking) bailout bill into law:
- For many, many years, Wall Street demanded and received decreased regulation. They repeatedly called for less and less government intervention into the free market. Now, having royally screwed the pooch in this unregulated atmosphere, they get saved by what? Government intervention. Does anybody else find this repellent?
- I have yet to hear a clearly articulated explanation of the alternative outcome–no bailout–for the average American (not to mention the average Canadian). Yes, it’ll be bad news, but I have no sense of how bad. And, you know, I’ve been paying attention.
It must be pretty weird to live in the US these days. On top of impending (and possibly averted) economic disaster, you’re living through one of the weirdest presidential elections in history. I watched some of the US vice-presidential debate last night (and some of the Canadian leadership debate and some of the hockey game), and I continue to be shocked that Governor Palin might one day run this country. If Americans put Senator McCain and Governor Palin in the Whitehouse, they get the governance they deserve.
Do we do this–attach all sorts of irrelevant extras to legislation–in Canada? I’m embarrassed that I don’t know.